Movie Discussion: Antonia Bird’s Ravenous (1999)

  • Monthly Theme: Best of the 1990sRavenous_ver1
  • The Film: Ravenous
  • Country of origin: U.S.A.
  • Date of U.S. release: March 19, 1999
  • Studio: ETIC Films, et al.
  • Distributer: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
  • Domestic Gross: $2 million
  • Budget: $12 million (estimated)
  • Director: Antonia Bird
  • Producers: Adam Fields, et al.
  • Screenwriter: Ted Griffin
  • Adaptation? No.
  • Cinematographer: Anthony B. Richmond
  • Make-Up/FX: Jesus G. Duran, et al.
  • Music: Damon Albarn & Michael Nyman
  • Part of a series? No.
  • Remakes? No.
  • Genre Icons in the cast? No.
  • Other notables?: Yes. Australian film star Guy Pearce. Character actors Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies and Jeffrey Jones. Hollywood actor David Arquette.
  • Awards?: Best Supporting Actress [Sheila Tousey] at the 2000 First Americans in the Arts Awards.
  • Tagline: “You are who you eat.”
  • The Lowdown: Antonia Bird’s gruesome film mixes the legend of the Wendigo with the infamous story of the Donner Party. Set in 1840s California, Ravenous stars Guy Pearce as Boyd, a disgraced U.S. soldier who is exiled to a remote outpost in the Sierra Nevadas as punishment for an act of cowardice in the Mexican-American War. There he finds himself stationed with a variety of odd characters, including the philosophical commanding officer (Jeffrey Jones), an eccentric man of God (Jeremy Davies), a hypermasculine soldier (Neal McDonough), the fort’s cook/stoner (David Arquette) and a pair of Native trackers (Joseph Runningfox &  Sheila Tousey). But just as Boyd is settling in to his new assignment, a man named Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) stumbles out of the woods, delirious. Colqhoun explains that he was a member of a party headed west that was stranded in the mountains and had to turn to cannibalism to survive. The arrival of Colqhoun kicks off a series of betrayals, murders and acts of cannibalism, as Boyd comes to believe that Colqhoun has become a Wendigo, a creature from Algonquian myth that feeds on the flesh of men. Mixing pitch black humor with legitimate thrills, Ravenous was a box office bomb that killed the career of director Bird, but found new life on DVD, where it garnered a cult following. Ravenous is now considered one of the smartest and most original horror movies of the 1990s.

If you haven’t seen Ravenous our discussion will include massive SPOILERS. 

Sean: So, what did you call to tell me the other day? I’ve been like, in suspense.

Kristine: Okay. So, remember when we had our book club and realized we had the power to control the universe? Well, if not to control events, at least to influence events or create synergy. I think our movie project is beginning to accrue supernatural powers also. My evidence is the two things that happened this week related to Ravenous. I was at my boyfriend’s in Fort Worth on Saturday and what do I see on his coffee table? A copy of Ravenous. Bear in mind, he does not have Netflix and he owns like 10 movies. I was like, “Why do you have this?” and he casually said that his sister recommended it to him years ago and he saw a copy in a pawn shop a while back and picked it up and he randomly decided to watch it this weekend. He didn’t know it was our next movie for the blog. So, that happened. The second thing is that the company I work for had this little gala event last night (it was small, under two dozen people) and I met this woman named Carol. My boss had told me that she was interesting, was a writer, blah blah. And this is the book she’s famous for having written. Let me read to you from the Amazon synopsis: “Many cultures equate meat-eating with virility, and in some societies women offer men the “best” (i.e., bloodiest) food at the expense of their own nutritional needs. Building upon these observations, feminist activist Adams detects intimate links between the slaughter of animals and violence directed against women. She ties the prevalence of a carnivorous diet to patriarchal attitudes, such as the idea that the end justifies the means, and the objectification of others. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley made her Creature a vegetarian, a point Adams relates to the Romantics’ radical politics and to visionary novels by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Dorothy Bryant and others. Adams, who teaches at Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, sketches the alliance of vegetarianism and feminism in antivivisection activism, the suffrage movement and 20th-century pacifism. Her original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights.” Hello? This is basically the entire thesis of Ravenous. I’ve been freaking out about it.

Courtney Cox’s private diaries

Sean: That is super weird. About the boyfriend, and that book.

Kristine: Isn’t it crazy? I realized, in retrospect, that I’d previously been aware of the existence of her book. But to meet up with the author, randomly, the same week we’re watching and discussing Ravenous?

Sean: I hate the idea of feminist veganism, fyi.

Kristine: I know, but still. I think the cultural concepts are valid. Just for the record, it’s weirder than you think to encounter a feminist vegan in Dallas. This ain’t Tucson. And she is like 70.

Sean: It’s interesting that your run-in was with a feminist vegan author and this anti-patriarchal movie was directed by a woman, just considering how few horror movies are directed or written by women, proportionally (something we’ve discussed in the past).

Kristine: Oh, I thought it was very interesting that this sausage-fest of a movie was directed by a lady.

Sean: Don’t call Martha a sausage.

Kristine: I loved Martha peacing out at the end.

Sean: Agreed. The movie ending with the Liberation of Martha is one of the things that makes me love it.

Kristine: “Free Martha” was one of the best parts for me, too. Especially her “No More Drama” exit. She Mary J. Bliged it.

Sean: She totally Bliged it. I guess this movie is a sausage-fest, though.

Kristine: A hyper-homosexual sausage-fest.

Sean: Ok, I re-watched the movie with my boyfriend, who’d never seen it before. And when it was over, I shut off the movie and turned to him and was like, “Was that movie not super-gay?” and he was like, “You’re reading into it.”

Gettin’ it from behind

Kristine: No, you’re not. I was doing that the whole time. At first I was like, “Sean has gotten into my head,” but by the end I was convinced that Ravneous is all about, as the Ancient Greeks said, “manlove.”

Sean: You mean: As the Ancient Greeks said, “Barebacking.” I mean, Boyd and Colqhoun’s bloody bodies pinned together in a lover’s embrace in the giant bear trap?

Kristine: Yes. Sean. “He was licking me.”

Sean: Also, “Um, I woke up and my… lips were on his…. wound.”

Kristine: That line delivery was also one of my faves.

Sean: The cast in this is amazing, no?

Kristine: Amazing.

Sean: Carlyle is especially good as Colqhoun, and quite terrifying, I thought. When he is like, pawing the air and freaking out when they get to the cave?

Kristine: He was kind of incredible. I loved his crazy freakout by the cave, and his transformation from invalid to super-alpha male. Very well done, on par with the transformations in Thirst. And I thought Guy Pearce did a good job being pathetic and not really likable, yet still a believable enough foil for Carlyle.

Sean: Yes, GP had the most thankless role.

Kristine: Jeffrey Jones was also great and I must point out that David Milch completely stole his whole character for Deadwood, right?

Sean: I am not a Deadwood person. Was he on Deadwood?

Kristine: Yes, Jeffrey Jones played essentially the same character on Deadwood. Like, identical, in my opinion.

Sean: Did you know that in 2002 Jones was arrested for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy and then they found mountains of child porn in his possession and he had to register as a sex offender and it killed his career? I had no idea.

When your dinner is smiling at you, what does it mean?

Kristine: Yes, I know about all that. It was a big deal when he was cast on Deadwood and was well received. That was his comeback.

Sean: He’s only been in one movie since 2002 and it was a direct-to-DVD vehicle for Big Boi from OutKast.

Kristine: That is crazy.

Sean: Jones as both the villainous principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the spineless dad in Beetlejuice are iconic 1980s roles for me that kind of shaped my brain. He’s crazy talented.

Kristine: I think he is, too, and he’s the most sympathetic character in Ravenous, right? While still being interesting.

Sean: Yes. I thought he was really good at evoking sympathy and he was the crux of the movie’s whole crisis about the distance between culture and wildness. With his closing soliloquy about missing his books and Aristotle and Plato and whatnot. He says, “For two millennia, struggling with the nature of man, the ideal society, morality. Boil it down, it’s the same issues we can’t solve today. Happiness and how to achieve it.” That fatalism about man’s ability to change, to improve, or to find contentment or answers… I loved all that.

Kristine: Yes, I agree that his civility was important. And remember, the movie opens with a quote from Nietzsche…

Sean: Right, about becoming the monster you’re fighting, right? God it sounds like something the Ex-Gay ministries would include in their training seminars. One of the first things we learn about Hart is that he is into languages. He’s all about communication, structure. He’s a structuralist. Then we have Colqhoun, who represents guttural instinct, appetite. The opposite of civility.

Kristine: Speaking of “wildness,” I really like the movie’s remote setting and the motley crew marooned at this godforsaken place.

Sean: Just a brief reminder: Tremors also took place in the Sierra Nevadas.

Kristine: There are crazy things in them thar hills. So, can we interpret the slogan “Go west, young man” to actually mean “Go gay, young bottom” based on both Tremors and Ravenous?

Sean: Totally. “Go gay, into the deep valleys of the Western seaboard.” There are literally so many double entendres and just overt gay jokes. Like when Colqhoun is asked to remove his shirt – to see if he has a bullet wound –  and he says, “My last physical examination was some time ago. Surely Maj. Knox has no desire to hear me cough?”

Muscle Queen of the Forest

Kristine: What about when Boyd says he’ll only eat meat “as a last resort.”

Sean: Or when Colqhoun taunts Boyd about eating Reich: “He was tough… but then again, a good soldier ought to be.”

Kristine:  Or when Colqhoun is like “I ate 5 men in three months” and felt “happy, healthy and virile.”

Sean: When he said 5 men in three months, I was like, “What a slut!” So, you dug Ravenous?

Kristine: Yes, I liked it. I have some quibbles, but overall I thought it was pretty top-notch entertainment. It managed to pull off both the pitch black comedy and the exploration of dark, genuinely disturbing ideas/themes very elegantly. Also, I never thought twice about Robert Carlyle before Ravenous and now I am a superfan. And you?

Sean: Oh, I love it. I like it more each time I watch it. It’s got some structural issues (like the needlessly complex chronology of the first thirty minutes) but overall, it’s great. I have some behind-the-scenes gossip.

Kristine:  Oooh, gossip.

Sean: This was a legendarily troubled production – lots of fights between the filmmakers and the studio, lots of dramz on set.  The original director stormed off during the first 2 weeks and then a new director was hired but the cast rejected him and refused to work with him and then Antonia Bird had to rush in to complete the film (she was a business partner/friend of Carlyle’s, I believe).

Kristine: I can see Guy Pearce as being the drama queen.

Sean: Bird said that the studio basically took the movie out of her hands and added all kinds of shit she didn’t approve of, like the voiceover.

Look at the way he’s flashing his wound at us. He was clearly asking for it.

Kristine: That’s poop.

Sean: And the failure of the movie destroyed her career in Hollywood.

Kristine: It was a failure?

Sean: Huge failure. And she never made another movie. She worked the rest of her life in TV. She just died of thyroid cancer last month.

Kristine: That is sad and shitty. I now see the Martha character as her stand-in. Stranded in this fucked situation with these crazy ass men?

Sean: Right.

Kristine: I must admit, I’d never heard of her.

Sean: She made that ridic Drew Barrymore bitches-be-crazy movie Mad Love that co-starred the horrible Chris O’Donnell.

Kristine: Anything else significant?

Sean: This movie Priest.

Kristine: Not that apocalyptic vampire movie Priest, right?

Sean: No. It was about a gay priest wanting cock up his ass. It was like, a Mom-approved arthouse hit.

Kristine: Good. Was she a lezzie?

What a gusher.

Sean: No, she was married to a man. Totes straight.

Kristine: I wonder what it was like to be out in the woods with like, Carlyle and Molester Jones and Guy Pearce and Jeremy Davies and David Arquette and the whole rest of ‘em. My boyfriend made the point that Arquette is only acceptable in very small doses, and in the right role, and that Ravenous was a good fit on both counts.

Sean: I totally agree. I actually feel the same way about Jeremy Davies.

Kristine: Oh God, yes.

Sean: His “hymn-composing” almost sent me over the edge.

Kristine: His performance could have easily crossed over into gimp-sex-slave territory.

Sean: Is he the twee-est hipster in America?

Kristine: He is a fey twee mountain lad.

Sean: Does he invite Fleet Foxes over for Thanksgiving?

Kristine: I love when Carlyle is freaking out and Davies is freaking out watching him… You can feel the scary spooky energy. I was doing my trademark “No no no no!” at the screen during that part.

Sean: The movie is really good a building a sense of hysteria and dread in that scene. I love the cave as this primordial space of evil. I wrote in my notes: “a lair, a Gothic space, a monstrous space, subterranean, womb-like, interior, crypt-like.” The skeletons hanging upside down, the idea that it’s the lair of some beast. I loved all that.

Kristine: Plus, for a movie that namechecks the Greek philosophers, its difficult not to think about that cave as a Grand Guignol version of Plato’s Cave, right?

Sean: Oh, I love that. Yes.

So cute. Love these genuine 19th century cannibal victims you can purchase on Etsy.

Kristine: I can’t believe they went into that cave and then into the killing hole (copyright Onibaba).

Sean: Right? But they’re butchie soldiers. They have to.

Kristine: Well, Private Reich had to, and he totally bullied Boyd into it. Male bullying is a theme in this movie.

Sean: I love the movie’s critique of, or investigation into, what it means to be “brave” and how cowardice and masculinity are two of the big subjects on its mind.

Kristine: Yes. Absolutely. Recruitment, pressure, group think… all that.

Sean: Right? When Colqhoun first arrives with his Donner-Party-story and says, “I’m ashamed to say then that I acted in a most cowardly manner” and you see Boyd flinch, it’s great.

Kristine: Yes.

Sean: Boyd’s whole identity crisis – who am I now that I have behaved like such a coward? Am I still a man? – is really fascinating to me. The irony that he has received a medal of honor for an accidental victory that only came about through his own cowardice is interesting. But I wonder if Boyd’s reaction to the horrors of war is actually “cowardly.” Isn’t it sane? Isn’t it a reasonable and sane reaction to want to lay down and play dead in such a situation?

Kristine: Right, but here’s where the fact that they’re all soldiers becomes really important. I felt like Boyd wasn’t a “coward” in the universe of the movie just for playing dead, necessarily. And I agree that there’s some existential logic to his reaction. But Boyd’s considered a coward because he did that while his men were slaughtered around him. It’s because he let down his comrades, because he violated the Man Code. It’s a violation of fraternity.

Sean: That’s a great point. Especially considering how Colqhoun is all about trying to induct Boyd into this new, perverse fraternity of cannibals. But also, it’s a violation of nationalism, right? The very first image we see is of an American flag fluttering in the breeze. He not only failed his brothers, but his country. He refused to defend the nation and its borders. In a way, by doing that he all ready chose ‘wildness,’ already traded in civility for barbarism.

Colqhoun clearly doesn’t swallow.

Kristine: Right.

Sean: Are boys more susceptible to groupthink than girls in single-gender environments?

Kristine: I’m not sure. I mean, feminists have long claimed so, thus arguing the need for female-only environments. But I don’t know if I believe it. I am undecided.

Sean: Are girls as obsessed with who’s a coward, who’s brave?

Kristine: No, but I am not sure that men really are, either, right? I mean I think this movie says that what men call “bravery” is actually conforming to the group and the alpha male and acting in the prescribed manner, whether that patriarchal force is the Army and the behavior is not abandoning your fellow soldiers and eating gobs of meat, or being a cannibal/vampire. Do you agree? This actually gets into something that I didn’t love about the movie, though I think I “get” it.

Sean: Oh, what?

Kristine: I was annoyed that Colqhoun was so adamant about having others join him as vamp/cannibals. Firstly, it didn’t make sense to me because why wouldn’t you want to be the only one and have the food supply to yourself? They’re insatiably hungry, right? I thought the forced “recruitment” of Col. Hart and his incessant nagging of Boyd to “be one of us” was odd (and also totally predatory gay, right? Trying to “turn” unwilling straights?). I didn’t like how Colqhoun had left the world of men (some might say transcended it) but was still driven to make other men conform.

Sean: Hmmm. I mean, to my mind, its one of the gayest elements of the movie, that Colqhoun’s big plan is to create an all-male cannibal tribe alone out in the wilderness and all the implications of buggery and top-n-bottoming that it suggests. I pretty much just started reading “meat” as code for “cock” about 30 minutes into the movie and never stopped.

Kristine: I agree… and I like revisiting the opening scene with all the soldiers wolfing down those nasty-ass steaks with that interpretation in mind. But doesn’t building a gaysex cannibal colony seem counterproductive, practically speaking, if the aim is to eat all the meat? Am I being a picker of nits?

Sean: Well, you’re being totally pragmatic and capitalist about it – why would you want to share the resource, right?

Kristine:  Well, yeah.

Steel trap of the Sodomites

Sean: I just think the movie has a totally different approach to the subject. Like, Colqhoun’s desire is to form a tribe. To be a tribal leader, to turn things back to some pure/primordial state of bloodlust and virility. I loved all the talk of virility with not an eligible woman in sight (No, Martha doesn’t count). I would cite this speech by Colqhoun: “Manifest destiny. Westward expansion. Come April, it’ll all start again. Thousands of gold-hungry Americans will travel over those mountains on their way to new lives, passing right through here. We won’t kill indiscriminately. No, selectively. Good God, We don’t want to break up families.” That campy sarcastic bit about the families at the end it like, nudge nudge wink wink, we’re homosexuals. Also: “It’s not courage to resist me, Boyd. It’s courage to accept me. You’re all ready one of us – well, almost. You hunger for it. You just won’t resign yourself to it. It’s not so difficult really. Acquiescence. It’s easy, really. You just give in.” You hunger for it, baybee.

Kristine: Fair enough. I just thought it was depressing that awesome Colqhoun had the same desires as the imperialist Army – to force conformity, to make Boyd “prove” something to him. I feel like a sexy vamp/cannibal with superpowers would be too busy, I don’t know, flying around trees or something. But I guess that’s the civilization/wilderness dichotomy you were talking about. This need for a tribe even when you are no longer a part of humanity? I don’t know…

Sean: But he’s not a vampire. He’s a Wendigo. I feel like the connection the Native American myth and legend is important to the issue.

Kristine: Right – not a vampire. I actually really liked the Wendigo stuff. It felt fresh.

Sean: But don’t you think that might be part of the deal? Like, its about cultural recruitment.

Kristine: Maybe so. It just seemed like, according to the myth, being a Wendigo was a very solitary thing. You know, one man army. But I could be wrong. I just don’t imagine a pack of Wendigos playing house. I imagine a lone Wendigo lurching through the wilderness on an insatiable quest for man-meat.

Sean: I think you’re making a fair point. But if you’re alone and lurching, then no gay sex. No, “Remember this? The scent always jogs the memory, don’t you think? The energy? The potency of someone else coursing through your veins? Someone brave?”

Kristine: Being a Wendigo seems like a one-man scenario, to me.

Sean: But buggery.

Kristine: That’s true. Side note: before Boyd and Colqhoun showed up and ruined everything, don’t you think that Private Reich was using Private Toffler as a sex slave?

Sean: Private Reich, with his bare chest showing at all times?

Kristine: Bathing in the freezing creek, screaming into the wild? I actually was impressed with that character/actor, because I thought Reich was just going to be a caricature, but he ended up having some pathos, right?

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 10.46.24 AM
Facial shot is the money

Sean: When was there pathos?

Kristine: Umm… When he was a corpse in the ground with Boyd? I dunno, he transcended caricature for me. By the way, the scene where Boyd cuts some meat out of Reich’s dead thigh…   I don’t know, but that little human steak gave me the shudders more than any of the other, far bloodier visuals in the film. Of which there were a lot, especially for an artsy lady director, right?

Sean:  Yes, I was disgusted by him fishing that slice of meat out of the guy’s pants… Wait, I’m not talking about sex. All the blood and all the meat was so sick. They did a really good job of making all the meat and all the food look fucking revolting.

Kristine: Yes. Yes yes yes. Those steaks at the beginning? Total vom.

Sean: Ugh, the steaks. Would you ever become veg?

Kristine: Would I? I doubt it.

Sean: I would never. I would rather die first.

Kristine: Hee hee.

Sean: I hate sanctimonious veggies.

Kristine: Me, too. It’s ridiculous and boring.

Sean: So, Ravenous is actually homophobic right? Or is it camp enough that it subverts the “gays are bloodlicking cannibal queers” stuff?

Kristine: Boyd is our hero, and he can’t stomach the meat (cock) and resists the depraved predator trying to seduce him into the dark “lifestyle” equals the movie saying homos are bad. But, Colqhoun is a badass überman and that equals the movie saying homos are good. But I think maybe Martha leaving says that they are bad? Also, Col. Hart, another honorable character, chooses death over “the lifestyle” (which is what I am calling goin’ Wendigo).

Sean: My preferred version of the movie would have made Martha a much more central and important character. It seems pretty clear to me that the movie is – at least partially – a critique of Westward expansion, and I feel like Martha’s character is integral to that critique, but the movie doesn’t really do much with it.

Kristine:  Yes, agreed. Her speech about how the Wendigo takes and takes and never ever gives seems like a pretty clear critique of westward expansion by the white man.


Sean: Yes. I thought it was an interesting choice also to set the opening war stuff in the Mexican-American War, establishing that the movie is interested in the idea of expansion and territory and what land “means.” It is my understanding that the Wendigo legend – as told in the movie –  is very much about the land, very much about what the land can do to you. How that wilderness space perverts and corrupts. So anti-Nature. So anti-homo. So anti-. Plus, how the Plato’s Cave stuff calls to mind the preceding Analogy of the Divided Line, another kind of border…

Kristine: I, too, would have liked Martha’s character to have been expanded, but I think it is pretty effective as is. I thought it was interesting how, looking back, Martha was not ever really in danger, right? Colqhoun was not interested in her. Maybe as a food source, but only as a last resort. She is free to walk away at the end.

Sean: Yes, I love that. For once, the woman is not the victim. I would love to see a character like Martha take center stage in a Western/horror hybrid.

Kristine: Martha – Wendigo Hunter.

Sean: Love. But she’s too over it to be a hunter. More like Martha, Over It in the Woods. Or Martha, No More Drama Primordial Woodland Edition.

Kristine: Love it. I mean, remember how she won’t help Boyd battle the Wendigo? She is like, ‘This is not my fight. Not gonna happen. I’m a no-drama mama. Clean up your own tribe, white boy.’

Sean: Loved it all. Though Martha is the one who discovers the slaughtered horses and Pvt. Cleaves gutted on the roof, where she gets the money-shot of blood all over her face, which felt very trad old school ‘the-female-must-be-traumatized’ horror movie logic.

Kristine: I liked how Colqhoun wasn’t just into the kill. He was into terrorizing his prey.

Sean:  Tell me about your desire for Robert Carlyle’s lithe, impish body.

Kristine: Shut up. You have to admit that somehow wee little Bobby Carlyle appearing all formidable ‘n fierce after a feeding was sort of great. I have a question for you. Obviously, Ravenous is built upon the mythology surrounding the Donner party. I think it is interesting that the Donner Party story still grips people. I mean, people have done a lot of fucked up shit to one another, tons of it worse than eating corpses for survival. Why does that act fill us with such revulsion and dread?

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 10.54.49 AM
Fly little fairy. Be free.

Sean: Don’t forget that Chilean soccer team that crashed in the Andes in the 1970s. That story lives for all time also.

Kristine: Yes. And Sean, never forget… This.

Sean: No.

Kristine: Yep.

Sean: My brain was just violated.

Kristine: This day keeps getting better and better.

Sean: I asked my boyfriend if I died while we were stranded in the wilderness together and there was nothing to eat, would he eat me to survive? He said no.

Kristine: Would you want him to eat you and live?

Sean: I mean, if I’m dead I’m dead. I am very meh about the body after death.

Kristine: Right.

Sean: Like, I’m an organ donor. I don’t care. Donate my body to science. Throw me in the woods. Let coyotes eat me. I also asked him if he would eat Bubba (our Boston Terrier).

Kristine: What did he say?

Sean: He said he wouldn’t want to live in a universe where he ate Bubba.

Kristine: Awww. The question is, would Bubba eat you guys? And we all know the answer to that one…

Sean: I wonder, though. Ronin (our German Shorthaired Pointer) would definitely eat our corpses. Like within minutes of our deaths. But Bubba is kind a finicky little squee.

Kristine: Hee hee. Bubba is all, ‘Ugh, too gamey.’

Girl hair.

Sean: Exactly.

Kristine: I have a couple random observations.

Sean: Please.

Kristine: First off, I loved the score to Ravenous.

Sean:  Omg, the music is amazing.

Kristine: Yes. Spooky, fresh, cool, playful. It’s really great.

Sean: Did you see that the guy from Blur did it?

Kristine: No, I didn’t notice.

Sean: Damon Albarn did the score.

Kristine: Interesting.

Sean: It’s great.

Kristine: It is very effective. I was doing interpretive dance to it for my boyfriend. Okay, you know how one of my ratings is, “This movie is proof that Hostel is a shitty movie” or something to that effect? Well. I so had that reaction when Boyd playing possum under the mound of bloody, mutilated corpses, when the blood drips into his mouth. It was done so much better, and grosser, and grimmer than essentially the exact same scene in Hostel.

Sean: Hmmm… That rating is actually about Saw. But I agree Ravenous stages that scene so much better. And that blood dripping into his mouth is what gives him the “hunger” (and makes him bi-curious).

Kristine: Which also reminds me, I had the “better than Hostel” thought during Jacob’s Ladder too, during the ride through the hospital of the damned with the gurney wheels running over the body parts and such.

Missing pages from the Kama Sutra.

Sean: Your original rating was about Saw.

Kristine: Oh, you’re right. Well, I am making a rating about Hostel sucking in comparison, too. They both are weak sauce.


Sean: I like Hostel, sort of. But I won’t defend it.

Kristine: Hostel is full of dumbness, and it doesn’t deserve it’s reputation as a major gross-out terrifying experience.

Sean: Hostel is your rude cousin you see like three times a decade who treats women like shit and is a pig, but you kind of have fun with him.

Kristine: Right. But later in life you realize all the tales of sexual bravado that he regaled you with were lifted from, like, Penthouse Forum.

Sean: Saw is your developmentally disabled cousin who shits in the corner at Thanksgiving.

Kristine: Yes.

Ratings Roundup

The Girl’s Rating: Serves as a testament to how Hostel  is overrated AND This film IS America AND Stylistic triumph

The Freak’s Rating:  This film IS America AND Queerer than you’d think AND Problematic, but fun as hell

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